In the article “TRAINS ON THE NORTH-SOUTH AND EAST-WEST LINES SAFE FOR SERVICE”, the Land Transport Authority (LTA, 2016) wrote that despite undergoing rectification works, the trains that have been in the media spotlight are safe for service.
According to LTA, all new trains are tested before they are put into service. For defective trains, immediate action was taken to prevent defects from resurfacing during train operation.
Hairline cracks that were discovered during inspection were confirmed to not affect operational safety. Nevertheless, to ensure that there are sufficient trains for commuters, all affected trains were being sent back, one at a time, for rectification. Stringent checks would also be performed regularly to ensure operational safety of all trains. Although this article was written to clarify that safety was never compromised despite having defects on the trains, as well as, extensive measures were taken to rectify the problem, it was only written sometime after being reported on another news webpage.
In my opinion, had LTA publicized this matter to the public earlier, along with evidence based reassurance regarding safety concerns and their comprehensive solution, superfluous assumption on the matter could have been circumvented.
There should have been publication on the matter stating that defects were spotted on the trains and it will be sent back to the manufacturer for rectification purposes, followed by evidence based reassurance to the public.
An example of an evidence based reassurance by TUV Rheinland an independent accessor, will evaluate the condition of the trains stating that they are operationally safe (Khaw, 2016). The public will feel assured as they will recognize the trains as safe for commuting, after knowing that it is being accessed by a qualified company.
On top of that, releasing additional information regarding train robustness along with the publication will have provided further reassurance to the public. In this instances, it will be the train being able to withstand three times the maximum stress during operations and that the safety margin has not been reduced due to the cracks.
Subsequently, releasing news regarding the arrangement to replace all 26 bolsters and car bodies by Kawaksaki-Sifang, as well as, extending the warranty period for the train parts would have helped the public to comprehend the ongoing situation.
Further notice on the procedures to replace all bolters and car bodies can be elaborated as follow-ups. That there is a schedule with the manufacturer to stretch the time frame of sending the trains back all the way to 2019. Doing so will help improve the situation, as it will not affect the plans of train capacity expansion in the North-South and East-West line (Channel News Asia, 2016). All this information will be supportive as it suggests that meticulous planning was done by LTA to resolve the issue effectively via strategizing the train schedule without affecting existing plans.
Ultimately this will help the commuters in understanding that safety checks were done, followed by a thorough solution that was put into action in order to avoid inconvenience caused to the public.
In conclusion, this matter could have been resolved with a number of evidence based article to notify and reassure the public. Along with a detailed solution and that disruptions to existing plans and inconvenience to commuters were taken into consideration and avoided. Because the news will be published earlier, inaccurate conjecture on the matter and unnecessary tensions in the public could have been avoided.
Khaw (2016, Aug 17). Cracks on MRT trains: Khaw addresses key issues raised. The Straits times. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/cracks-on-mrt-trains-khaw-addresses-key-issues-raised
Khaw (2016, Aug 16). Khaw: Lessons to be learnt from defective SMRT trains incident. Channel News Asia. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/lessons-to-be-learnt-from/3048928.html
The Straits Times (2016, Sept 10). Hairline cracks found on 11 Sengkang-Punggol LRT trains. The Straits times, Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/hairline-cracks-found-on-11-lrt-trains